Selenoprotein expression is regulated at multiple levels in prostate cells

Cheryl M. Rebsch, Frank J. Penna, Paul R. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Selenium supplementation in a population with low basal blood selenium levels has been reported to decrease the incidence of several cancers including prostate cancer. Based on the clinical findings, it is likely that the antioxidant function of one or more selenoproteins is responsible for the chemopreventive effect, although low molecular weight seleno-compounds have also been posited to selectively induce apoptosis in transformed cells. To address the effects of selenium supplementation on selenoprotein expression in prostate cells, we have undertaken an analysis of antioxidant selenoprotein expression as well as selenium toxicity in non-tumorigenic prostate epithelial cells (RWPE-1) and prostate cancer cells (LNCaP and PC-3). Our results show that two of the glutathione peroxidase family members (GPX1 and GPX4) are highly induced by supplemental selenium in prostate cancer cells but only slightly induced in RWPE-1 cells. In addition, GPX1 levels are dramatically lower in PC-3 cells as compared to RWPE-1 or LNCaP cells. GPX2 protein and mRNA, however, are only detectable in RWPE-1 cells. Of the three selenium compounds tested (sodium selenite, sodium selenate and selenomethionine), only sodium selenite shows toxicity in a physiological range of selenium concentrations. Notably and in contrast to previous studies, RWPE-1 cells were significantly more sensitive to selenite than either of the prostate cancer cell lines. These results demonstrate that selenoproteins and selenium metabolism are regulated at multiple levels in prostate cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-948
Number of pages9
JournalCell Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • Prostate
  • Selenium
  • Selenocysteine
  • Selenoproteins

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